|JOBS in handicrafts
Job Opportunities Through Business Support is conducted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project works in 42 municipalities in Bulgaria, among which from July 2003 is Pernik.
JOBS main activity is business development in 6 basic economic fields, which are highly competitive on the international markets. One of them is handicrafts. The JOBS business centers work with more than 700 craftsmen from all over the country.
The JOBS strategy for handicrafts development pivots on active marketing and creating larger markets for Bulgarian handicraft products. Through its network of business centers around the country the JOBS project supports the makers of traditional Bulgarian crafts in several aspects. Many artists from the project communities have attended customized training in price setting, attractive merchandising, customer service and successful marketing.
JOBS is developing and implementing targeted promotion of smallscale producers of carved wood, hand-woven textiles, knitwear, wrought copper and iron. Free consultations are being provided by international experts on how to improve design and quality in order to make the handicraft products more attractive for international buyers, without breaking away from tradition. The business centers assist artisans with technical and information services and consultations in product development, and initiate the establishment of producer and arketing groups in the crafts sector.
In the last months of 2002 the JOBS project launched its e-shop for handicraft products at www.craftcenter.org, which features more than 100 Bulgarian craft-makers.
The crafts expositions organization is part of the JOBS project activities which makes Bulgarian crafts popular in other countries and helps the formation of market and business skills among our craftsmen.
Foundation “Bulgarian tradition” encourages the production of works of art and crafts by people with disabilities or people from socially isolated groups by helping them to learn to cope with things on their own. The “Tradition” gallery makes those pieces of art available to the public.
The works which are for sale in the gallery are created using old techniques and natural materials.
The Christmas bazaar which JOBS conducts on three consecutive years in “Radison” hotel in Sofia presents unique hand-made products of artists from all over the country. The bazaar helps the professional progress of craftsmen who want to turn their art into business. The crafts area coordinator selects various pieces with high artistic value and excellent quality.
Regional business center for small and medium enterprises support – Pernik took the first crafts exposition in October 2003 and 14 makers participated in it. Subsequently the works of two of them – Borislav Andonov and Stanislav Spasov were presented to the Christmas bazaar of JOBS. Another two handicraftsmen – Albena Istaikova and Zdravko Nikolov took part of the bazaar organized by Business center – Biala Slatina.
The second exposition of crafts is carried out at the moment, and the participants are about 30, all of them coming from Pernik region. This time we can boast of few sales.